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Selecting objects using a window or crossing window is fairly easy in AutoCAD, but what if you wanted to select all of the text in your drawing, or what if you wanted to select all circles on a specific layer? Selections like these required us to use afilter. Well, in AutoCAD 2011 we can now make filter-based selections using the new Select Similar tool. On my screen I've got a drawing of a civil engineering detail. If we zoom in a little bit, we can see that this drawing contains several hatch objects. If I hover over one of these, we can see the hatch was drawn on a layer called det-6.
This is incorrect. The hatch should be on a hatch layer. To correct this I'll select one of the hatch objects, and then I'll right-click and choose Select Similar from the menu. This selects all of the hatch objects on the det-6 layer. And to make my correction, I'll move up to my layer control. I'll select the correct layer and then I'll hit Escape to deselect my entities. Let's make another change. When I made my section labels, I made them a little too small. To make these larger, it's absolutely no problem. I can select one of the labels, right-click, choose Select Similar, which selects all the text on that specific layer.
And to adjust the height of these, I am going to hit Ctrl+1. That brings up my Property Changer. Right here in the Text area, I'll come down to Paper text height and we'll set this to 0.25 and hit Enter. That updates all of my text. I can then close the Property Changer and I'll hit Escape to deselect my entities. Let's back up a little bit, because I'd like to make one more change. Let's say this is a brand-new detail that we are creating from an existing detail. Well, if that's the case, I am going to need to erase some of these revision notes.
To do that I'll select one of the notes and right-click. I'll choose Select Similar, which grabs all of our text. Then I'll hold my Shift key and I'll make a crossing window around these entities to remove them from my selection. Just because we've selected all of the objects doesn't mean we have to erase them all. Now that my selection is finished, I'll move up and click the Erase icon to erase those entities. By default Select Similar is selecting our objects based on object type and layer. Let's take a look at how we can adjust the Select Similar settings.
To do that, I am going to type selectsimilar and hit Enter. Essentially I have just launched the command from the command line. But by doing that I have access to the Settings. Now I can get into my Settings by typing SE, the capitalized letters we see right here. Or I can right-click and select Settings from the menu. This brings up my Select Similar Settings dialog box and I can use these checkboxes to control the sensitivity of this tool.
Right now we can see Select Similar is selecting our objects based on object type, who happened to share a common layer. I can also have the objects share a common color, or line type, or any other setting I wish. Now at this point I don't want to make any changes. So I am going to click Cancel and then we'll hit Escape to get out of the command. In AutoCAD 2011 selections that used to require a filter can now be made in just a couple clicks. So long as you can select one object that represents what you're looking for, you can select all of the others by using Select Similar.
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